Not with Vanity Do We TryMorning, now – fuzz on the tongue marks the place
where half dose meets eleven hours under,
and I cannot push the pillows aside.
This air reeks of sweat wrought of base
desire, control by which I do not abide.
Too poor to break things during a fight,
so we shatter smiles found after too long a night
Morning, now – a start to what? I wonder.
Empty cupboards the result of irrevocable raids
tell my story, old as old:
scars and aches, muscles torn asunder,
searching for someone to hold.
A painting – trees on the bank of a dam – encased in black,
a reminder of better days to which we cannot go back
Morning, now – dissonance of fan blades
swirling, cutting the alarm chime;
this lethargy, my unasked for bane.
Day spills to night and memory fades
while so many misplaced efforts to rest are lain.
Tale's PassingAlex put her hands in her pants pockets, leaned against the wall, and watched people do a somber shuffle into the room. Some sat at the benches near the room's front where lay the casket surrounded by pictures of her father, and others stood in uneasy social clusters, wanting, perhaps, to make regular conversations but sensing the casual attitude inappropriate. The clock above her chimed the hour's half mark and there were already seventy people crowded into the little room. As Alex looked around, she realized she knew only Dale, Brian, and Brian's wife Elaine; it was they who worked most closely with her father. That so many other people would attend surprised her; she hadn't been as aware of her father's affluence as she thought.Tale's Passing4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Dim lighting, feel-happy piano music in the speakers, dull colored carpeting - I mean, really, what is that? Mahogany? And a whole miniature world of strangers and sad people gathered to light candles in a room already too hot and stuffy. Picture perfect pr
CaffaI cry from keyholes worn into my glandsCaffa4 years ago in Scraps More Like This
and ulcerated joints. My friends
load me into a sling to give me
to the enemy. A snap, shuddering, rounded full stop.
Riding over the walls, I am a limp horseman
straddling my own waist.
coloring with youOur smiles naked for all to seecoloring with you2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
with worn wood under feet bare,
we've gathered our pages and ideas to create
treasures behind a door with no key,
just you and I, one another's mate.
I've got green for the sky, you've picked pink for the sun,
we'll laugh and we'll tease 'til the picture's all done
Pillows everywhere tossed with no care,
and forts made with blankets, too,
we prob'ly won't finish in time unless
you let me brush your hair.
Ha! See? Our room's such a mess!
We'll add a touch of tangerine faces on flowers
and raspberry red vines climbing towers
Late morning rain makes for grass with white dew,
given by cascading booms of thunder.
We got snacks of strawberries and blueberry toast,
so now listen when I say what is true:
it's these times with you I love the most!
Vacancy... so he wondersVacancy2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
when white flags will fly
and if any heavenly being
cries when they die
each one tells,
stories to pass time
between warning bells
as he writes,
fingers tracing stars above,
he whispers her name,
sending her his love
letters addressed to
families who have lost,
worn out words that
lives are the cost
an unoccupied house
is shelter for a night,
'til sunrise treks start anew,
carrying comfort out of sight
annabbelle(two ays, two enns, two bees, two ells, to ease)annabbelle4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i met a girl who wanted two
of everything, to
reach out for your hand, so she could have another one, too.
There's a House On the Moon"There's a house on the moon." She said, staring upwards at the silver disk in the sky.There's a House On the Moon4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Don't be silly, darling." Her mother scolded, shaking her head apologetically at the other parents.
She frowned and crossed her arms, her bottom lip sticking out and her big eyes narrowed. "But there is! And there's a river an' a field an' goats an' a cat, an' that's where Old Man Winter lives."
Her mother sighed impatiently. "Enough with these silly stories, Elisabeth. Go and play while I talk, alright? But no telling the other children of these ridiculous fantasies."
Pouting, she did as she was told, stomping her booted feet hard against the half-frozen ground until she was out of her mother's sight. Childish pique was only worth the effort if adults were watching. She walked into the bare woods, dried leaves catching on her winter coat, rather than go to the forlorn playground filled with bundles of coats and scarves and deeply concealed children. She unwrapped her own scarf from around her chin
UntarnishedHe thought he was funny.Untarnished8 years ago in Philosophy & Perspectives More Like This
"This is a frigging stupid class," he'd say to me. "It's stupider than…your mom."
And his voice would trail off and be lost in a sea of pages flipping and pencils scratching, because nobody cared about the kid spewing crap in the corner.
It was to his advantage that the seating chart had placed him in the back of the room. He liked to lay back, balance his chair precariously against the wall, then throw his feet up on the table. It was his thinking time, he explained, because of the two classes he was taking that semester, AP English was the one he could afford to slack off in. I never really understood the logic in this, but I gave a neutral nod. It was easier that way.
One day, however, I asked him what exactly ran through his mind during his "thinking time".
"I wonder about what's going to happen to me after I die," he replied. "Is there a heaven? Is there a hell? I doubt it, but somehow, being put in the ground in a box and having that be the end of
Swing BandPlay your trumpets louder, boys -Swing Band4 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Let's hear that trombone sound.
You're gettin' paid to make some noise;
The dames are crowdin' 'round.
The chaps have finished sippin' gin
And now it's time to dance.
They want a tune to dip and spin
And kick up some romance.
A young thing needs a break at night
From white barrage balloons,
From broadcasts, blackout drapes, cordite,
Junkers across the moon.
The music's really pickin' up.
The piano's lost a string.
There's no one in a smoky club
But loves a chance to swing.
It's hard to hear the sirens wail -
The saxophone is grand -
For death is sorry, weak and pale
But life's a big swing band.
Today's The DayToday's the dayToday's The Day4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
The world seems to fall apart
They hurt me
They kick me
They say those awful names
Where were you?
Today's the day
Everything I do is
Where were you?
Today's the day
Where I bitched
Where were you?
Today's the day
Life seems like hell
It's a burden
It's a pain
It's a bother
Where were you?
Today's the day
Where I found hope
You were there
You loved me
You cared for me
Where were you?
You were right there
But all those negative thoughts
Clouded my vision
And I couldn't see you
Where were you?
Right in front of my blind eyes
To everything around me
Grey and Gimble in the WabeThe ground was soft beneath his feet. It squelched and popped beneath the pressure of his determined stride, and sometimes crunched on a creature that hadn't been able to get out of his way quickly enough. Hadn't been able to, or hadn't wanted toit was hard to tell, in a place like this. Barren, and yet alive in its own way. Wet, always wet, but with a sickly damp that worked its way into his clothes and his hair and his lungs. Flat and endless like an empty chessboard. In the distance stood figures that looked somewhat like trees, except they were too round, too perfect, like the tops of some ghastly fungus. If the man ever paused long enough to stare at them, they might move, just a bit. But it was hard to tell. And the man never did stop long enough.Grey and Gimble in the Wabe5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Why are you following me?"
This may seem to be a strange question for the man to ask in such a deserted milieu, but there was in fact something with him. It had no shape, or perhaps its shape was simply unimportant. Sometimes it
Orangesmorning lifts to the smellOranges9 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
he enters her eyes, a
stranger waving away
her dreams, which are thick and rough-skinned as the
carpet beneath her soles
she is getting up,
clinging to the up
is a quiet fruit that she'd
rather not peel
accidental loveNo one is fated or doomed to loveaccidental love2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I’ll meet you by accident.
We’ll both be buying chicken burritos
in the airport.
“I’m here overnight -
I’ve got a pretty wicked layover,”
and I’ll laugh because
I do too.
We could maybe spend the night together
in black plastic chairs
and calling it love.
the cricket and sailour.there lives a man in a desertthe cricket and sailour.4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
with cracked skull and lips.
he is broken and feeble hands;
his back where the deer-antlers
roam to graze.
with the winter winds he is
calm. the sea foam swelling around
his ankles feel like honey, and he is
dragged. dragged through the sand,
dragged until he is salt. salt in a
the clouds give way to bitter ships.
Wind sweptI'm raging against the wind,Wind swept4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I need someone
to take my hand - hold me down,
I'm afraid to be swept away,
far from everything I love,
I'm as light as a feather,
and if I just stand on my toes
the wind will take me,
the wind howls, the wind yells,
I exhaust myself with it,
no one is there to protect me
from the wind,
the echoes inside my ribcage,
the only thing anchoring me
is the promise
of not flying away - yet.
A Nightly SplitMoon's gaze falls upon a couple with quibblesA Nightly Split3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Watching spittle fly in heated topic's past
Today is no longer today they say
There can be no future for us
Always will problems rear their ugly head
Being placed in the Moon's complete white glare
Coal sparkles empty-like leaving the ground bleak
No doubt bespeaking the diamonds that lay underneath
They say that the future just may be destroyed
Diamonds shattering like glass to settle a bed of death
Under blue tinted white light, the couple remains, scattered
Walking each a different lonely and broken path
BreatheYou inhaled herBreathe2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
And exhaled me
Taking in deap slow breathes
But breathing out fast
When she holds you
You breathe her in
With each moan
Every time you say her name
You exhale me
In time back I filled your lungs
I was spreading
I was in your cells
I traveled into your muscles
I made your heart beat
With each beat you took more of me
You could feel me
I was in your being
I was part of you
I didn't mind
CloserYou're not hereCloser3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and my tears are falling everywhere,
I need you so much closer,
my heart aches, I ache,
I want to wake up next to you
when the sun rays stripe your face
but haven't awaken you yet,
I want to walk in the fog and rain
holding your hand in my mittens,
a sensation of getting lost but
You're too far away,
my heart is in need, rocking,
trying to get out and fly to you.
I Chingscratch deepI Ching4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
language should be a startling of birds
letters mad as March hairpins
gratifying too: war on muddy Spring brings
gifts of demons
tears from home
end of shorter days
to life in this defeated country
WolvesThere where I get devoid of inspiration,Wolves2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
My poems will turn to stone;
And while the heart cannot answer to this temptation,
A chilly wind makes me shiver to the bone.
“Wolves!” they said. Let nature fight silence with love.
And then the pack drew back in fear until the seventh sunrise. (Blackest rays…)
“I could not find sugar in their cove…”
But oh, those were words of the unwise.
This pack proved to be my final inspiration;
This land came to be my last desire.
All comes along with responsibility,
Being lit in their fire; burning on a gnarled pyre.
“Time will tell.” “Farewell!”
The hopes are high!
Some things flow through time and space in a hustle
Everybody keeps looking for power; the power in each and every one of us.
“So much I wanted to give to the ones who love me!”
FracturedCall me JezreelFractured5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
though I am not. I still answer
to the name my mother gave me,
though she is not my mother; I've known her too long
and too well. Just a woman, then,
but not just a woman, just as I am not my father.
So I shall be Jezreel.
Sorry. I'll start again.
When I was my father the thorns were mine. They were my first crop
and in time inherited everything. Their spread took root
in fresh plots every day, besieging the flower pots,
coiled like barbed wire across the neighbourhood.
I watered them, proud to be a father at last, until at last
my garden walls were no longer visible from space.
My garden was a black core of walllessness
pressed against the doors. When I was my father
I couldn't see from space.
But I began to.
My husband called to me
when I was barely alive,
when the handle of the blade was stuck to my palm.
Together we gathered the dead and threw it all
to the dwindling fires. "I'm sorry," I said. The land was now a desert.
His hands were the surface of my thighs, easi
WallflowerEverything is so unclear,Wallflower3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I don't know anything,
it's limbo land,
a still stand, moving
not even the snowflakes
silence. Play and pretend:
breathing, living, sleeping,
such a dreadful existence,
forward slowmotion, steps
a slice of hope
for something more.
Unnecessary RoundsIn the fall I'd make unnecessary roundsUnnecessary Rounds5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
over that scuffed, speckled tile
in case you were namelessly there-
an anonymous book browser,
a stranger buying milk.
I saw all these walks of life, at noon
or at eight o'clock or nine.
The protruding stomach pregnant
with hamburger-death, stretching
at the filthy shirt with a belly button eye
(Cyclops, do you still blame Nobody?)
and the young man's thin white leg with the
long tendon swimming a delicate breast stroke
under smooth cream-skin, under the fluorescents
hairless and illuminated.
Even lonely people need groceries,
need some fuel for their night ramblings
and nail biting, and futile attempts at a
caress or a coffee companion;
I am glad to know that you are keeping busy,
you aren't part of this purple eye socket army
of sleepless bags, and bags holding potato chips.
My contract is dark with small print;
a drafted mercenary, an indentured slave
with nighttime and a poor attempt at patience.
Sahi"Listen, Sahi. Listen to it whisper to you." I held the shell close to my ear. My mother's cool hands wrapped around mine, her breath brushing against the hair that trailed down my jaw. "Can you hear it? Can you hear it telling you its story?" I kept the shell pressed to my temple like a telephone. I heard it, a shrill and silent echo.Sahi4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"What is it?"
"It's the ocean, my love. When the shell swam to shore, it kept a little bit of the ocean inside of it. And now it's yours, a little bit of the ocean, to keep with you everywhere you go. You like that?"
I come home late. As the door closes, the telephone rings. I limp to the cream- coloured telephone.
"Look out the window."
"Look out the window, Sahi. Tell me what you see."
"Tsvee, I just came home. I'd much rather take a shower, change-"
"Just look out the window, babe. Just a minute of your time."
I tiptoe to the window and look through the thick glass, my free hand pulling away the silk curtain. The telephone pressed